Family Values in Shakespearian England
Derek Hirst
October 6, 2005

Dr. Derek Hirst’s published work has spanned the political and cultural history of the seventeenth century. His work includes narrative surveys and essays on Oliver Cromwell, Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden. Dr. Hirst centered his research in the middle decades of the century, and above all, recently on the poet and politician Andrew Marvell.

Derek Hirst was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1981-82, edited the Early-Modern Britain section of the American Historical Association’s Guide to Historical Literature, and chaired the American Historical Association’s European History prize committee in 2002-03. Dr. Hirst is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Derek Hirst is one of the foremost living historians of seventeenth-century England. Educated at Cambridge University in England, where he held his first academic position, Dr. Hirst came to Washington University in 1975, where he is now the William Eliot Smith Professor of History and recently served six years as Department Chair. The author of three books, numerous essays and articles in such prestigious journals as Journal of British Studies, Journal of Modern History, and English History Review, Dr. Hirst has also been a reviewer for The New York Times and London Review of Books, among others.

Visit Dr. Derek Hirst's bio page at the Washington University in St. Louis website and Wikipedia

His book England in Conflict 1603-1660, is reviewed in the Oxford University Press.

Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence
Carol Berkin
November 17, 2005

Carol Berkin is Professor of History at Baruch College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Author of several books, including Jonathan Sewall: Odyssey of an American Loyalist (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), Women of America: A History, and A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution, she is currently working on a book on Civil War women.

In this History Series program, Dr. Berkin takes us into the ordinary moments of extraordinary lives. Women boycotting British goods in the years before independence, writing propaganda that radicalized their neighbors, raising funds for the army, and helping finance the fledgling government, show that women were squarely at the center of the independence movement. Dr. Berkin shows how they managed farms, plantations and businesses while their men went into battle, and how they served as nurses and cooks in the army camps, risked their lives seeking personal freedom from slavery, and served as spies, saboteurs, and warriors.

Dr. Berkin received her A.B. degree from Barnard College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She considers her most significant and challenging activity to be her two favorite works-in-progress; her daughter Hannah, a graduate of Vassar College and her son Matthew, a senior at Connecticut College.

See Dr. Berkin's bio at the Baruch College / CCNY website

An overview / review of A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution in MacroHistory and World Report.

PDF of an article by Dr. Carol Berkin, "Gender Issues in Social Studies."

Mozart as an Historical Figure
Neal Zaslaw
January 26, 2006

Neal Zaslaw is the Herbert Gussman Professor of Music at Cornell University. Professor Zaslaw has been at Cornell since 1970. He teaches the history of Western music from the 9th to the 21st centuries. He is the author of more than 70 articles on baroque music, historical performance practices, Mozart, and the early history of the orchestra. His books include, Mozart’s Symphonies: Context, Performance, Practice, Reception(1989); The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1990); Mozart’s Piano Concertos: Text, Context, Interpretation (1996), and (with John Spitzer) The Birth of the Orchestra: History of an Institution (2004). Der neue Köchel, a revised catalogue of Mozart’s works, is in progress.

Between 1978 and 1982 he supervised recordings of all of Mozart’s symphonies by Jaap Schroeder, Christopher Hogwood, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Time called the results “one of the most important projects in the history of recorded sound.” A decade later he was dubbed “Mr. Mozart” by The New York Times, for organizing the 1991-92 Mozart Bicentennial at Lincoln Center, which staged performances of all of Mozart’s works.

In addition to hundreds of radio and television broadcasts in a dozen countries, Zaslaw has lectured at more than 60 universities, colleges, museums and performing arts centers on four continents. His writings have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Japanese. He has served as vice-president of the American Musicological Society and is the recipient of research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others. In 1991 The Austrian government decorated him for his contributions to Mozart performance and research. He is a member of the Akademie fur Mozsrt-Forschung of the Mozarteum and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and serves as Musical Advisor to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Visit Dr. Zaslaw's page at the Cornell University website and Wikipedia. For books and reviews, please visit Google Books.

And, this article about Dr. Zaslaw from Music Associates of America.

War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars
Andrew Carroll
March 2, 2006

Andrew Carroll is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University and the editor of three New York Times bestsellers, including War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars. The book inspired the critically acclaimed PBS documentary War Letters, the audio version of which was nominated for a Grammy.

Carroll is the director of the Legacy Project, a national, all-volunteer effort that encourages Americans to seek out and preserve wartime correspondence before these letters are lost or destroyed. Launched in 1998, the Legacy Project has received over 75,000 never-before-seen letters from every war in this nation’s history, including e-mails from Afghanistan and Iraq. Discovered in basements, attics, scrapbooks and old trunks, the letters have poured in from around the country. The best of them offer unprecedented insight into the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and even the fighting in Somalia and the Balkans.

War Letters is a testament to the heroic contributions and astonishing literary voices of common soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors, as well as war nurses, journalists, spies and chaplains. Previously unpublished letters by such legendary figures as William T. Sherman, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur, Julia Child, Dwight Eisenhower, Norman Schwarzkopf, and our nation’s first black general, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., are among the collected letters.

Visit his website for The Legacy Project at

National Endowment for the Arts provides an overview of War Letters.

Learn more about Carroll and his books at